Historic support for shareholder proposal on Indigenous inclusion cultivates meaningful, transparent action on reconciliation in the financial sector
May 12, 2021 – Shareholders of TMX Group Ltd. voted overwhelmingly to support a resolution on Indigenous inclusion and reconciliation at the company’s annual and special meeting of shareholders held earlier today. The vote will have profound effects on Canadian companies and the Indigenous economy.
The Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), a national investor advocate, filed the proposal on behalf of the Atkinson Foundation. TMX Group made history when the company announced it would recommend a vote in favour of an amended version of the proposal. This is the first time a proposal on reconciliation has ever been jointly endorsed by the board of directors of a Canadian company.
The nearly unanimous vote in favour of the shareholder proposal speaks to the widespread desire for improved disclosure of public companies’ efforts on reconciliation and Indigenous inclusion.
“TMX is taking transparent and meaningful steps to prioritize and set clear objectives on reconciliation and Indigenous economic advancement. Through today’s vote, shareholders will send a crystal-clear message to every publicly traded company,” said Kevin Thomas, CEO of SHARE.
“TMX Group’s board of directors and chief executive officer, John McKenzie, have shown bold leadership in supporting this proposal. The decision will have positive knock-on effects across Canadian capital markets,” Thomas added.
TMX Group owns and operates Canada’s premier stock exchanges, Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, as well as Montreal Exchange, Canada’s derivatives exchange.
Colette Murphy, CEO of the Atkinson Foundation, noted, “The resounding support for this proposal reaffirms investors’ commitment to meaningful disclosures on company efforts to advance the goals of reconciliation and Indigenous inclusion. I invite Canadian companies to follow suit and create this kind of value for future generations. ”
The proposal highlights multiple ways in which public companies like TMX Group can enact real change in favour of Indigenous inclusion and reconciliation.
The vote resolves that the TMX Group’s Board of Directors report to shareholders on its work:
- to develop internal programs and policies on equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I), including those that encompass current and prospective Indigenous employees, and relationships with Indigenous communities,
- to review procurement from Indigenous-owned businesses, and those owned by other underrepresented groups, and establish appropriate disclosure practices and objectives; and
- to engage with qualified Indigenous and other organizations to support this work so that these programs can be shown to meet standards that are appropriate for the company and, wherever possible, aligned with commonly-used frameworks and to report in an ongoing way that supports investors’ ability to determine the breadth, depth, and content of these programs.
Through the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative (RRII), a partnership between SHARE and the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA), SHARE has prioritized engagements with companies to take up Call to Action 92 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) final report, which is directed at the corporate sector in Canada.
SHARE is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing investor leadership for a sustainable, inclusive and productive economy. We do this by supporting our investor network and amplifying their voices to improve corporate sustainability practices and implement better rules and regulations that govern capital markets.
For more information on SHARE, visit: www.share.ca.
About the Atkinson Foundation
The Atkinson Foundation is committed to social and economic justice. Our highest priority is strengthening movements for decent work and a fair economy. We collaborate with community organizers, policy innovators and investors to challenge income, wealth and democratic inequality. Learn more at www.atkinsonfoundation.ca.
Media Contact: Amanda Watkins, Communications Officer, SHARE, [email protected]; 416 306 2255